Today marks the 33rd anniversary of my father's death. I am 35.
It's so strange to miss someone and hurt so much after so long when you never really knew them.
I have a few memories that are more like still images. I don't remember what he looked like moving. Until I saw some old home movies, I felt like I'd never seen him move. He was almost a figment of my imagination, no more real to me than my stuffed rabbit. I don't remember what it felt like to touch him or how my name sounded when he spoke it. I don't know how he smelled.
It was so long ago, and the longer it is, the further away, less real, he seems. I can remember going to his grave when I was little before the grass had completely grown back. It makes me angry that I wasn't more cognitive back then to try and remember and hold on to those memories. I was so much closer then and had no idea.
Now, I struggle to remember what it was like to have been that close in time to when he really existed. I can't miss him really. It's more a longing to be connected, an overwhelming desire to have memories of my own, to have known my father.
I'm told I'm much like him. I look like him, though less so as I get older. I've had many people come back into my life that knew me when my daddy was alive. They tell us stories, share pictures, and we even got a video of him playing football in high school. Maybe one day a recording of his voice will surface. I can hope.
I didn't cry on this day when I was younger, but I do now. Joe is sweet and holds me. Henry licks away my tears. Tomorrow will come as it always does, and I'll keep on surviving. Breathe in, breathe out. Try to remember.